FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A North Pole woman accused of beating and abusing three children in her care has pleaded no contest to a single assault count.
Lottie Beasley, 52, was facing multiple counts of assault when she agreed to plead no contest Thursday to one count of third-degree assault. The rest of the charges were dismissed.
Alaska State Troopers said they learned of the allegations in June when two boys, ages 10 and 11, ran away from Beasley's home. Trooper investigator Eric Olsen said Beasley was caring for the boys, as well as well as 3- and 6-year-old girls at the time. Olsen said Beasley had adopted one of the children and was trying to adopt the other three.
According to court documents, one of the boys told troopers that Beasley had beaten him on the head and back with broomsticks over the past few years. The boy said Beasley also beat him with plastic tubing.
The other boy told troopers Beasley had burned him in the leg with a curling iron. The boy said Beasley also had beaten him with extension cords and had hit him with a broomstick numerous times.
The boys told troopers Beasley also hit the 6-year-old girl with a broom and injured her on multiple occasions, although the girl said Beasley never hit her or her 3-year-old sister.
Beasley's husband told troopers he had witnessed the abuse numerous times and tried to intervene but Beasley hit him, too.
According to the documents, the husband said he had seen Beasley hit the children with extension cords about a dozen times and with broomsticks about 25 times, as well as once with a frying pan. Beasley denied ever hitting the children and told troopers that her husband had struck them, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
The children were taken into the custody of the Division of Family and Youth Services.
The assault charge to which Beasley pleaded is a consolidated count alleging that she hit the three children with a metal broomstick between April and June of this year. It carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Prosecutor Teresa Foster noted that Beasley has no prior felonies and said she believes the sentence Beasley receives through the plea will be similar to what she would have received following a trial and conviction.
Beasley's sentencing is set for Feb. 6.
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